Nagpur: India roared back to winning ways as the thrashed Australia by seven wickets in the fifth ODI in Nagpur on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma led the way with a magnificent 125 as the Virat Kohli led side reclaimed the number one spot in the ICC ODI rankings, winning the five-match series 4-1.
Earlier, Australia batted first and much like the previous matches, openers David Warner and Aaron Finch ensured that the visitors get off to a solid start with a 66-run stand. The duo looked threatening as they piled up the runs with ease and it needed brilliant catch by Jasprit Bumrah to send back Finch for 32. Skipper Steven Smith then added 44 runs with Warner before he was dismissed by part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav for 16.
The Australian batting looked all set for a collapse as in no time they were reduced to 118/4. Travis Head (42) and Marcus Stoinis (46) then joined together to stitch a 87-run stand that momentarily helped the visitors come back in the match.
But another collapse saw them post a meagre 242 runs on the board. Axar Patel was the best Indian bowler with three wickets to his name. Jasprit Bumrah scalped two wickets as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya took one apiece.
In reply, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma ensured that there were no jitters in the beginning of the chase as they put up 124 runs for the opening partnership.
Rahane, who has been pretty successful with the bat in this series once again scored a valuable 61 runs from 74 balls. After his dismissal, Rohit continued the way he is known to be as he muscled sixes and also rotated the strike to stitch a 99-run partnership with the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
The Mumbai batsman went on to register his 14th ODI ton as he made the chase look like a cakewalk until leg-spinner Adam Zampa dismissed the both of them in one over to delay the inevitable. But Manish Pandey (11*) and Kedar Jadhav (5) ensured that the Indians won the match with 43 balls to spare.
Hardik Pandya was named as the , “Man of the series.”
Smith, arguably wasn’t happy with his team’s performance and said that they deserved to be beaten 4-1 in the series after his team failed to cash in on the good start and ended up with just 242 on the board at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground.
He said, “Probably a 300 wicket. One of our top four needed to make a big score. Lost wickets in clumps again. Have a few things to look at to try and improve and gain the consistent performances we’re after. Just need to get the right balance of the way we want to play and get consistent performances. We’ve been outplayed and deserve to lose 1-4